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Re: Illustrating Guidelines

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 08:42:18 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: "Lisa Seeman" <seeman@netvision.net.il>, "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@w3.org>, "WAI" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

     Thanks ever so much for taking the time to make these explanations and
citing a wonderful list of "hard evidence". I'm hopeful your work will be
of great benefit to those who are serious about solving the problems. 

	When I started teaching LD kids, the main method promulgated was "drill
and kill", and minimizing visual distractions (in preparing to be such
teachers we  were even told to wear solid colored clothes instead of busy
prints to help students focus on the lesson instead of getting lost in your
dress. Classrooms were kept quite bare.) The multi-modal approach proved
more effective than "drill and kill", and has been replacing the older
methods. The nice part of multi-modality teaching is that it often benefits
more than just the LD kids.  


At 08:41 AM 5/13/01 +0200, Lisa Seeman wrote:
>This is a long email, But I think we need to respond to the call for "hard
>The first part of this email responds to what seems to be a misunderstanding
>about what dyslexia is. It is not about making things easy but it is a
>neurological condition that realities in some learning processes being
>impaired or disabled wilst others are more advanced.
>This email then discuses how dyslexic can learn, and how learning can be
>made easier. Also with full references and "hard facts"
>I then want to discuss the guidelines, and how this all fits together for
>us. If you get board - just skip ahead to this bit. But get there.
>It would seem, dyslexia is not a
>problem, but a symptom of a problem. It
>can come from any or all of the following courses. There  are of course many
>other theories,
>but these are the main academically respected ones.
>All mainstream  credible research in behavioral neurology agree that
>is a consequence of an altered neural substrate with a reduced synaptic
>space, in the various regions of the brain which are responsible for the
>reading process. fMRI scans (18, 19) have show that different subgroups of
>dyslexia may exhibit under activity in any of the following areas: V5/M -
>resulting in visual discriminatory problems (9, 15), auditory cortex -
>resulting in low auditory discrimination skills (32), superior temporal
>gyrus (Wernike's area) and striate cortex - resulting in a phoneme
>processing problem (5, 22, 23 ), and the angular gyrus - coursing pore cross
>modal associations (22, 24, 28, 30). The different schools of research have
>championed the different neurological bases of dyslexia, and its resulting
>subgroup of dyslexia.
>OK a bit on each one:
> Auditory Discrimination
>(main research - see Tallal et all (32) )
>This body of research has shown that many dyslexics have defects in the left
>auditory cortex (responsible for sound naming and identification) and
>temporal processing.
>It is in the auditory cortex that sound identification takes place.
>In fRMI scans, dyslexics have shown reduced synaptic activity in this area.
>Clinical trials have shown that skills can be enhanced by a computer-based
>approach to tackle ‘phonemes’ - the individual sounds associated with words,
>with recorded spoken words. The consonants are recorded louder while the
>adjacent vowel is lengthened and its sounds softened. (For results of
>clinical tests see Tallal et all 1998(33).)
>Visual Recognition Skills
>(main school of research  Livingstone (1993) and Martin and Lovegrove
>1988)  )(see   9, 15)
>Dyslexics have reduced synaptic activity in the V5 area.
>V5 is part of the broader "magnocellular -- large cell -- system" that
>processes fast-moving objects, and brightness contrasts. One interpretation
>is that a specific magnocellular cell type develops abnormally in people
>with dyslexia (3).
>Games and animation used to train the synaptic pathways in the V5/M area,
>will be governed by the following criteria. Adjustable flicker rate,
>maintained at the lowest speed possible for the child's recognition
>enhancement, adjustable brightness and contrast, and spatial frequency.
>Colors will be superimposed on black and white images to maintain the
>child's interest only, and emphasize the visual difference in shapes.
>For results of clinical tests see (1)
>Phoneme Processing
>Main research from Shaymitz (1998) and Rumsy (1996), (see 5, 10,11, 14 –17)
> The language regions in the superior temporal gyrus (Wernike's area) and
>striate cortex are found to underachieve in the dyslexic. These areas
>response to simple phoneme processing tasks. (Areas that respond to more
>complex language tasks, an anterior region, the IFG, displayed relative over
>activation in dyslexics. )
>Games involving nonsense words, rhyme, and sound manipulation will be
>enhanced by special auditory effects: The consonants are recorded louder
>while the adjacent vowel is lengthened and its sounds softened. All games
>are carefully leveled by the complexity of the manipulations involved.
>(For results of clinical tests see Ojemann 1989, Bertoncini et all 1989 ).
>Cross-modal association
>Main research from Leon (1996) and  Shaymitz (1998) (see 8, 22, 24, 28,30)
>The angular gyrus, a brain region considered pivotal in carrying out
>cross-modal (e.g., vision and language) associations necessary for reading,
>is involved. The current findings of under activation in the angular gyrus
>of dyslexic readers coincide with earlier studies of those who lost the
>ability to read due to brain damage centered in that same area of the brain.
>The ability to link visual stimuli to auditory interpretation can be
>stimulated by Multimedia implementation of the coming together of these
>separate disciplines. Activities are all carefully leveled to correlate the
>child's current ability level.
>Now let me try to explain what this means s in practical term and the
>ability to learn.
>Let us take someone with an impaired visual processing and memory V5/M25 -
>They are being told to remember what a letter looks like, they can not. So
>long as they are being told to read through the use of visual memory, you
>might as well ask them to walk on the ceiling. They can not. They do not
>have thoughs functions. They remain illiterate. Then comes multimodal
>teaching. You tell child to make a v shaped vase out of clay. To feel the
>point at the bottom. You have then associated the shape V with the word
>vase. That is learning.
>You can do this for each letter, but not for each word. Reading will never
>be though word recognition for someone without a visual memory. But once
>they have the ABC, they can read and write phonetically.
>Now some dyslexics have a visual memory but no phononim processing skills.
>They will need to recognize each word, and not learn phonetics.
>Ok we get the picture. It ain't easy especially since many of use have all
>the difrent subgroups.
>Also remember that unless a student has had the right teaching method they
>will be unable to learn to read.
>However what is clear is that for dyslexics to learn difrent teaching
>mechanisms must me used.
>In terms of using multimedia. In teaching dyslexics it is referred to as
>multimodal method of education. It is the recommended method to teach
>dyslexic by every dyslexia association I have been in contact with (BDA CDA
>LDA and the IDA) but if that is not enough then you can start reading
>These teaching methods for LD persons in university are also recommended by
>the dyslexia association, (37) and infact the most acclaimed schools for
>dyslexia have e embraced multimodal teaching with excellent results (38).
>This is no longer  about learning to read but about learning other
>information in such a way that the language problems do not restrict you.
>Dyslexic are advised to draw there thoughts out in a flow diagram or box
>form before answering a essay question or writing a letter. That way they
>can concentrate on the concepts and then separately concentrate on fitting
>the idea to the words, writing the words, writing the words in the correct
>In compression dyslexic are advised to read the words and then go back and
>understand the content and then reread the words. slow but you get there.
>Now the guidelines.
>Dyslexia is a disabilty, therefore we have to address it.  That I think is
>not debatable.
>I think that I have proved that using multi modal and techniques such as
>diagrammatic representations, will defiantly assist dyslexics follow and
>access information . If there is any doubt on that then tell me and I look
>up more facts.
>But most dyslexics have not been diagnosed (especially if they are over the
>age of 30) So if they have managed partial literacy though shear slog over
>years, then diagrammatic representation will mean the difference between
>being able to follow or access large pieces of complex information and not
>being able to.
>Many undiagnosed dyslexics drop out of society and into delinquency.
>(http://www.etni.org.il/dyslexia2.htm)  (80% of homeless people who do not
>have an addiction or psychiatric problem are learning disabled. 40%
>Undiagnosed dyslexics have not been shown special coping methods such as
>making a block diagram in your head or on a piece of paper while following a
>comlexed instruction. They are in a much worse situation then I.
>They do not know what benefits are available, they do not know public
>information, unless someone bothers to tell them. They are intelligent, but
>they can not get to information that will help them learn. They are not
>blind, so have not learnt Braille and have never heard of screen readers.
>Along comes widely and publicly available information sources with the
>potential to all be in multimodal form. Please explain to me why ADA
>entities and federal sites, and people who just want to include as many
>people as they can, should ignore these millions?
>Hear are references, I got a bit feed up by the end, so ignore
>inconsistencies of style. Thanks,
>1. Bakker ,(1990) Neurophysiological Treatment of Dyslexia, Oxford
>University Press,.
>2. 2. A Galaburda,(1993) Dyslexia and Development: Neurobiological Aspects
>of Extra-Ordinary Brains, ed., Harvard University Press, London.
>3. Getting the Message Across, published by the Questions Publishing
>Company, Birmingham, England, 1996, on behalf of the British Dyslexia
>4. B Blachman  and L. Erlbaum.(1997) Foundations of Reading Acquisition and
>Dyslexia: Implications for Early Intervention, ed.  Associates Publishers,
>New Jersey,.
>5.    S Shaywitz et all (1998)  Functional disruption in the organization of
>the brain for reading in dyslexia . Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol. 95, pp.
>6.  C. Njioktien ,(1998) Nuerological Arguments for a joint developmental
>Dysphasia-Dyslexia syndrome
>7.     M Snowling (1997) Dyslexia A Cognitive Developmental Perrspective,
>Blackwell Massachusetts USA
>8.    G Lyon and j. Rumsey,(1996) Neuroimaging a window to the neurological
>foundations of learnng and behavior in children,  Pual Brooks 58-73
>9. Eden, G. F., VanMeter, J. W., Rumsey, J. M., Maisog, J. M., Woods,R. P. &
>Zeffiro, T. A. (1996) Nature (London) 382, 66–69.
>10. Paulesu, E., Frith, U., Snowling, M., Gallagher, A., Morton,
>J.,Frackowiak, R. S. J. & Frith, C. D. (1996) Brain 119, 143–157.
>11. Rumsey, J. M., Nace, K., Donohue, B., Wise, D., Maisog, J. M.&
>Andreason, P. (1997) Arch. Neurol. 54, 562–573.
>12. Van Orden, G. C., Pennington, B. F. & Stone, G. O. (1990)Psychol. Rev.
>97, 488–522.
>13. Lukatela, G. & Turvey, M. T. (1994) J. Exp. Psychol. Gen. 123,107–128.
>14. Demonet, J. F., Price, C. Wise., R. & Frackowiak, R. S. J. (1994)Brain
>117, 671–682.
>15. Henderson, V. W. (1986) Brain Lang. 29, 119–133.
>16. Petersen, S. E., Fox, P. T., Snyder, A. Z. & Raichle, M. E.
>(1990)Science 249, 1041–1044.
>17. Pugh, K., Shaywitz, B., Constable, R. T., Shaywitz, S., Skudlarski,
>P., Fulbright, R., Bronen, R., Shankweiler, D., Katz, L., Fletcher,J. &
>Gore, J. (1996) Brain 119, 1221–1238.
>18. Friston, K. J., Ashburner, J., Frith, C. D., Poline, J.-B., Heather,J.
>D. & Frackowiak, R. S. J. (1995) Human Brain Mapping 2, 165–189.
>19. Talairach, J. & Tournoux, P. (1988) Coplanar Stereotaxic Atlas of the
>Human Brain. Three-Dimensional Proportional System: An Approach to Cerebral
>Imaging (Thieme, New York).
>20. Bavelier, D., Corina, D., Jezzard, P., Padmanabhan, S., Clark, V. P.,
>Karni, A., Prinster, A., Braun, A., Lalwani, A., Raus-checker, J. P. et al.
>(1997) J. Cognitive Neurosci. 9, 664–686.
>21. Woodcock, R. W. (1987) Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests, Revised (American
>Guidance Service, Circle Pines, MI).
>22. Black, S. E. & Behrmann, M. (1994) in Localization and Neuro-imaging in
>Neuropsychology, ed. Kertesz, A. (Academic, New York), pp. 331–376.
>23. Geschwind, N. (1965) Brain 88, 237–294.
>24. Benson, D. F. (1994) The Neurology of Thinking (Oxford Univ. Press, New
>25. Galaburda, A. M., Sherman, G. F., Rosen, G. D., Aboitiz, F. & Geschwind,
>N. (1985) Ann. Neurol. 18, 222–233.
>26. Geschwind, N. (1985) in Dyslexia: A Neuroscientific Approach to Clinical
>Evaluation, eds. Duffy, F. H. & Geschwind, N. (Little, Brown, Boston), pp.
>27. Shaywitz, B. A., Shaywitz, S. E., Pugh, K. R., Constable, R. T.,
>Skudlarski, P., Fulbright, R. K., Bronen, R. T., Fletcher, J. M.,
>Shankweiler, D. P., Katz, L. et al. (1995) Nature (London) 373, 607–609.
>28. Dejerine, J. (1891) C. R. Societe du Biologie 43, 197–201.
>29. Damasio, A. R. & Damasio, H. (1983) Neurology 33, 1573–1583.
>30. Friedman, R. F., Ween, J. E. & Albert, M. L. (1993) in Clinical
>Neuropsychology, eds. Heilman, K. M. & Valenstein, E. (Oxford Univ. Press,
>New York), pp. 37–62.
>31. Benson, D. F. (1977) Arch. Neurol. 34, 327–331.
>32. Tallal  et all (1993) Temporal information processing in the nervous
>system: special reference to dyslexia and dysphasia.  New York : The New
>York academy of science
>33 Tallal et all (1998) New York : The New York academy of science
>34. Hulme (1981) Reading and
>retardation and multisensory teaching: London :ROUTLEDGE AND KEGAN PAUL
>35. Bradley (1981),
>36, Thomson and Gilchrich: Dyslexia a multidisiplinary approch London Chapan
>and Hall
>37. Bradley and Bryant (1983), Categorising sounds asnd learning to read.
>Nature, 301, 419.
>38. Dyslexia at
>college Miles Dorothy and Gilrpoy 1986  New York Methuen
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
>To: Lisa Seeman <seeman@netvision.net.il>
>Date: Friday, May 11, 2001 2:55 PM
>Subject: Re: Illustrating Guidelines
>>Hi Lisa,
>>can you provide full references for the people you have quoted? Or at least
>>enough to let me (a novice) find them in a library? That way it will be a
>>easier to argue the case.
>>I know this work is out there, I just don't know where to find it. And we
>>need to hold it up very clearly to prove to people that it does already
>>On Fri, 11 May 2001, Lisa Seeman wrote:
>>  Now I now I do not represent every dyslexic on the plaint, and that there
>>  are many sub-groups of dyslexia, but I am one of the lucky ones who have
>>  some measure of all impairments that have been grouped together as
>>  In other words not all dyslexic will find it useful, but it seems to me
>>  people with an impaired auditory memory (estimated at 60% of dyslexics -
>>  the many works over the last 15 years by work by Tallal) and/or weak
>>  phonetic processing (possibly 80% Stanovich, et all, or Blachman) skills
>>  probably will.
Anne Pemberton

Received on Sunday, 13 May 2001 09:02:35 GMT

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